Thursday, August 12, 2010

Made it!

Well, we're here in England after a very worrisome start. We almost didn't get upgraded to Business Class.  I know I sound a bit like Dulwich Mum at this point, but we are SO spoilt that we always manage to upgrade with air miles. To be fair, we were booked into United's Economy Plus, which makes for a bit of extra leg room, but not quite the same as the seats that turn into beds in Business. When you're traveling with kids, it's amazing what a 6 hour sleep will do for them when you're standing in line at Immigration next morning.  I even managed a few hours' kip, which is a first for me I think.

So far, (all 3 days) we've had the usual scattered showers and 63 farenheit weather. I'm not even bothering to hang the capris up as they probably won't get worn, and we'll definitely need to make a visit to the Metro Centre for long trousers for Little Guy. Two pairs isn't going to last two weeks and I'm not washing every other day. (The trousers that is, not me personally,)

So what have I noticed so far? 

Tedious security at Heathrow's Terminal 5. Honestly, who do these people think they are kidding? I thought the US's airport security was a sheer waste of time with it's "take-off-your-shoes" policy. Hello? That one's already been done. Don't you think they'll be hiding bombs elsewhere now? Anyway, At T5, not only did we have the bio-metric photo taken and checked again before we got onto the plane, but each piece of hand luggage was individually prodded as we put it onto the security belt. We didn't have to take shoes off, but belts, watches, jackets, and everything else came off, and I STILL set the stupid alarm off. (Not even wearing an underwire bra either!!!)  And by golly, do they frisk you thoroughly!!

Another thing - A dramatic increase in the number of bed/mattress shops. They are all over the States (1-800-Mattress, American Mattress etc) and I've always wondered how come there is such a huge market for mattresses, even in a 'down' economy? But on my quick drive from Heathrow to Hampton Court, then a run through Walton-on-Thames, every other shop seemed to be a mattress one. Hardly a representative sample I understand, so I will be keeping my eyes peeled for further evidence.

Right, I have orders to get the washing in before it rains, and it's been at least half an hour so another shower must surely be on it's way!



  1. The rain is the reason for this being the 'green and pleasant land' so I try to stiff-upper-lip it because I do love the green and pleasantness of this land...but... I do get fed up. You seem resigned. Northumberland was experiencing a fabulous two weeks of sun and pleasant weather while we were there. The rain started on the last day. At least now I know it can get sunny there. I'll cross my fingers for you and your capris. :)

  2. I hope the weather does pick up for you. We really had been having glorious weather......but hey, that was before the school holidays of course

  3. how funny about the matresses - I will have to look out for those!
    I'm coming over next week so I hope the weather improves....

  4. I must say..... I have never noticed about the mattress shops. There is a one and only mattress shop going bust near me!
    Have a great stay and I hope the weather perks up. I believe it is going to be fine this week/end where I live! We have the Bristol Balloon Fiesta starting today. :-)
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  5. The thing that always gets me about security is how unhelpful they are as I try to negotiate shoes on and off for not just me, but 2 wriggly boys who are taking off at speed as soon as they can, leaving me barefoot pelting after them carrying belts (ie holding up trousers) and leaving behind half my belongings at security. Grrr.

  6. I gather it's peeing again up in the North East today, so says my mother. Not even a chance of getting the washing out!

  7. Such a close call on the Business Class thing, phew.

    Heinous weather in Europe, I swear I saw my breath this morning.

    Welcome back to Blighty.

    Pig x

  8. I only just started reading your blog. Will be reading more since realizing you're an expat and also from North East England. Me too, from Newcastle, now living and blogging from New York.
    Have fun in UK

  9. I didn't notice about the mattresses. I have to say I feel a bit smug in 70 degree weather in California (and everyone is complaining it's too cold).

  10. Fifty eight and raining all day yesterday. Still raining. The central heating is on. Unbelievable!

  11. My husband is making rude gestures in your direction seeing as our children slept not one wink on our trip over here!
    My brother says the UK authorities are obsessed with belts, and the US ones with shoes.
    Spent yesterday at Legoland in the pouring rain - thought I was going to develop webbed toes!

  12. So at what age do they start upgrading when travelling with kids because it's NEVER happened to me. Of course, that could be because my boys are the ones running all over the place!

  13. Like Almost American's husband, I too am making rude gestures having just suffered 21 hours in economy from Oz with 2 kids and a grumpy other half. Security here in the ME is somewhat more lax. My daughter managed to get a pair of scissors through 2 ME airports (unknown to me!) before security at Singapore spotted them. Hope the weather is improving as we too are off to Blighty at the weekend.Look forward to checking out your columns on the expat website. Happy hols!


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